Like many publishers, Dave Kamis, vice president, production and manufacturing for Crain Communications, is recognizing that a digital workflow still needs its fair share of adjustments. Here, he summarizes some of the production-related operational areas that are hot within Crain.

With the continuing expansion of digital content delivery systems and digital asset management systems the Crain prepress departments are increasingly involved with activities requiring the repurposing of content. This includes, but is not restricted to: Posting of PDFs for digital versions; downsampling and posting PDFs for e-tearsheets; archiving digital assets (such as photos, text, graphics) for re-selling.

Though every process is now digital, not every digital process is automated. An example is ad-file preflighting. "We have been preflighting supplied digital ad files for years," Kamis said at a recent Folio: Show session. "But it requires an employee to implement the process. We would like to move towards a process whereby incoming ads are automatically preflighted."

Cross Training
Increasing online activities are creating the need for new skills. "The volume of Web ads is growing at brisk rate," he says. "This will require us to provide existing ad production managers with new skills. The increasing use of video may also provide career growth for existing production personnel to acquire new skillsets."

In addition to these initiatives created by the new media environment, Kamis also makes sure to maintain an emphasis on business fundamentals.

Continuous Improvement
It is important to create and maintain a culture that promotes continuous improvement. Every process, even the established, smooth running processes, must be constantly scrutinized in terms of how we can do them better.